PCB rental scooter ban goes into effect this week

Scooter ban in Panama City Beach
Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 10:37 AM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Wednesday, renting scooters within beach city limits will come to an end.

“It’s just too many. Nine miles of Front Beach Road, 300 rent-a-scooters for people that have never been on it, too much,” Former Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas said.

“A lot of people don’t know how to ride them for real so it’s kind of a good thing, but kind of not,” King of Scooters Store Manager T.J. Ward said. “For people, they may be disappointed. I know a lot of people come down here for the scooters.”

The ban was originally approved by the beach city council in 2017, after they received complaints from the community about dangerous driving and loud music.

Officials say between January and May 2017, police officers wrote more than 300 traffic citations for scooter violations. Thomas said the ban was the only way to keep the community safe.

“95% of the people that use them have never been on a scooter before,” Thomas said. “They made an amusement out of Front Beach Road. It was just dangerous, dangerous to them and the other people that were on the road. That’s not what highways are supposed to be about.”

Ward says the ban is unfortunate for their business but they have plans in place.

“We made more money with, in the past couple weeks, with the pandemic going on, with golf carts than with scooters,” Ward said. “Once we remove the scooters, we’re getting newer golf carts which we’re getting now.”

Ward claims the golf carts are also safer and the rules are easier to follow.

“Abide by the rules the same as you would your car,” Ward said. “Make sure you have your seatbelt on. Make sure you’re not riding on sidewalks.”

Ward said instead of renting, they’ll start selling their scooters Tuesday.

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